tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS April 17, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
president obama who attended the summit of the americas this past weekend in cartagena. norah o'donnell is breaking more news on this story tonight and she joins us from the white house. norah? >> reporter: scott, tonight sources tell us that secret service agents were offered polygraph tests as part of the investigation. now, this comes as the scandal has broadened and we've also learned that at least 20 colombian women were involved. we have learned that members of the president's security team in colombia were partying at this cartagena strip club less than 48 hours before the president's arrival last friday. called the play club, it was near some of those accused first met prostitutes and reportedly paid them $60 to return to the hotel caribe. in colombia, prostitution is legal. but republican senator susan collins, who is on the committee that overseas the secret service has been briefed on the situation and she says she was shocked to learn that between 20
and 21 women were involved. how did they uncover that? did they go back and look at the guest books? >> exactly. under the rules of this hotel guests had to be signed in by the person renting the room. and thus we have the names of the women involved and were able to determine a count. >> reporter: we have also learned of the 11 secret service men involved two were highly paid supervisors, three were members of the counterassault team and three were members of the countersniper team. ten members of the military are also being investigated. five members of the army's elite special forces, two navy sailors who were high-ranking enlisted men, two marines who were low-ranking enlisted men and one member of the air force. we know 11 agents and officers and then at least 10 military personnel. does this suggest that this was part of a culture? >> it raises questions about the culture. it's also very hard for me to
believe that this is the only time that this has ever happened. i am worried that this is the only time that they were caught. >> reporter: at the white house today, the president's spokesman would not answer whether he believes there is a larger problem but did say the president stands by secret service director mark sullivan. why does the president have confidence in the secret service director? >> the president has confidence in director sullivan. the director acted swiftly in response to this incident and the overseeing an investigation that obviously needs to be conducted. >> reporter: tonight a senior law enforcement official says it's unlikely there was any security breach by having these women inside the agents' hotel rooms. none of the agents had received their top secret security briefings and, scott, it is standard operating proceed your that sensitive materials-- like the president's schedule-- are kept in a locked room guarded by u.s. marines. >> pelley: secret service has said the president's security
was never in question. norah, thank you very much. with the price of gasoline so high, president obama proposed a crackdown today on financial speculators who drive up the price of oil. he proposed raising penalties for manipulating the oil market up to $10 million and speculators would have to put more of their own money behind their trades to discourage reckless bets on the market. we wondered how much speculators add to the price of gasoline so we asked anthony mason to find out. >out. >> reporter: with crude prices lingering above $100 a barrel since february, president obama called for a crackdown on manipulation of the oil markets. >> we can't afford a situation where speculators artificially manipulate markets by buying up oil, creating the perception of a shortage and driving prices higher. >> reporter: billions of speculative dollars have been flooding the oil trading pits. a study by the st. louis federal
reserve last month found that after global demand, speculation was the second-largest contributor to oil prices and accounted for about 15% of the rise. >> high gas prices are a problem of gambling by speculators on wall street. >> reporter: michael greenberger was director of markets for the commodity futures trading commission during the clinton administration. >> if we could get excessive speculation out of this market it would be a dramatic surprise to the american people how low the price of gasoline would go. >> reporter: but speculation is not price manipulation and the c.f.t.c. brought only one enforcement action for manipulating oil prices all of last year. the president's proposals to curb market manipulation would have to pass congress and even before the white house made its announcement republicans like senator mitch mcconnell were dismissive. >> they usually put a commission... is that what the president said? he was going to have a commission? >> he wants to do a commission and.. >> yeah, well it would be nice to have a stack of all the previous commission reports on
speculation. >> reporter: in fact, a year ago the white house put attorney general holder in charge of an interagency task force on oil price manipulation but it has yet to issue a report and it is not required to. >> pelley: anthony, you mentioned in your report that there was only one prosecution last year. why were there not more? >> reporter: well the white house would say there's not enough cops on the beat. they're calling far six-fold increase in power to police the oil markets. the technology at the c.f.t.c. is said to be from the middle ages and one oil industry analyst said today that it's hard to argue they should not get more money. >> pelley: anthony, thanks very much. on wall street today a string of positive earnings reports from american companies sent stock prices higher. the dow gained 194 points, or 1.5%. we got word after the markets closed that investor warren buffett has early stage prostate cancer. buffett, who is 81 years old, told shareholders in his company berkshire hathaway that his cancer is "not remotely life
threatening." he'll begin treatment in july. mitt romney was endorsed today by the highest-ranking republicans in congress. house speaker john boehner and senate minority leader mitch mcconnell. boehner sat down with cbs "this morning" anchor charlie rose who asked the speaker what romney needs to do going forward. >> reporter: does he need to sort of reset his cam pain? does he need to get together and say to himself and to people and to you and the leadership in the senate "i want to take this opportunity to redefine myself because many americans have not focused on this campaign...". >> well, that's pretty hard to do. but after any primary there's always a little retooling. always some adjustments in terms of now you have a different opponent. and so i think you'll see some new things out of this campaign. >> reporter: like what? >> a real focus on what the election is going to be about. economics, economics, economics.
>> pelley: you'll see more of charlie's interview with the speaker on cbs "this morning" first thing tomorrow. and one more note about congress tonight. the amount of your tax dollars spent on local pet projects commonly known as pork is down dramatically. according to a watchdog group, the amount of so-called earmarks in this year's budget is $3.3 billion. but that's down from a high of $29 billion in 2006. chile was shaken by a magnitude 6.7 earthquake last night. it was one of 13 powerful quakes around the world so far this month. today ben tracy witnessed a man made earthquake in san diego. it was part of an experiment to prepare for the real thing. >> three, two, one... >> reporter: it's hard to tell, but this five-story building is experiencing an 8.8 earthquake, moving just inches
in each direction. inside, things barely moved during today's simulations thanks to these giant shock absorbers which protected the building from most of the shaking. it was an unprecedented test of so-called base isolators. jose restrepo was an engineer at the university of california san diego. >> the ground is moving a lot and the building is staying put. it's like it's being hangd from the air for a while. >> reporter: similar seismic improvements are being made on the bay bridge in san francisco. this animation shows how the bridge should be able to absorb the shock of a major quake. >> this is utterly unique. it has not been done. >> reporter: mike gardner heads the california seismic safety commission and says today's building test was one of the most realistic ever done. >> we have lots of data on buildings that have been shaken in real earthquakes and how they have failed but we have not been able to measure during the course of the shaking what happens to the building. and that's a real key. >> reporter: the point of this test is to see how engineers can improve buildings such as
hospitals and schools to keep them functional after a major quake hits. so while this may not look like much from the outside, inside it's very realistic. there is a mock operating room and intensive care, heating and cooling systems and even elevators. the building sits on top of powerful hydraulics that can simulate nearly any earthquake. >> 1994 northridge earthquake. >> reporter: one simulated the earthquake that hit california in 1994. >> we're having an aftershock right now people. >> reporter: 57 people died and the quake caused $20 billion in damage. since then, thousands of structures in california have been retro fitted to withstand even stronger quakes. and researchers here in san diego have plans for more tests next week. they're going to take those shock absorbers out and see what kind of difference it makes and, scott, they're telling us they expect a lot more damage. >> pelley: fascinating, ben. thanks very much. three months after the "costa concordia" disaster what's
become of the ship? a possible settlement over the so-called toxic trailers. and an amazing sight over washington-- "discovery's" final flight. when the "cbs evening news" when theif you are one ows" presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62% is from the makers of the number one prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. it raises your testosterone levels, and... is concentrated, so you could use less gel. and with androgel 1.62%, you can save on your monthly prescription. [ male announcer ] dosing and application sites between these products differ. women and children should avoid contact with application sites. discontinue androgel and call your doctor if you see unexpected signs of early puberty in a child, or, signs in a woman which may include changes in body hair or a large increase in acne, possibly due to accidental exposure.
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a 747. later it flew over the washington monument and the u.s. capitol building as thousands looked up in wonder. "discovery" landed at dulles airport in virginia near its new home at the smithsonian air and space museum annex. chip reid talked to somebody who was there for "discovery's" first flight and its last. >> reporter: at florida's kennedy space center monday, generations of astronauts came to say good-bye to an old friend, the shuttle "discovery." >> we know the secret "discovery" hand shake, right? (laughter). >> reporter: if anyone knows the secret "discovery" hand shake it's colonel mike mullane, "discovery's" maiden voyage in 1984 was also his first trip into space, a memory that's still vivid. >> the first flight of the orbiter "discovery." >> you get this heavy vibration in the cockpit and i remember thinking "well, whatever happens, i'm going now." when you climb into a rocket for a launch into space there are two fundamental emotions that are gripping you. one is gut fear-- you do fear
for your life-- the other is boundless joy. because it's a lifetime dream come true. >> reporter: his dream began as a child with homemade rockets. >> my capsule was a maxwell house coffee can. my parachute was the plastic that covers the clothes that come back from the dry cleaners. >> reporter: mullane flew three shuttle missions. "discovery" made 39 trips into space, but the shuttle program has fadeed into history, the stuff of historical documentaries. >> i wanted to be an astronaut as soon as i heard the word. i was a child of the space race and i fell in love with everything associated with space, with rockets, with astronomy. >> reporter: how would you describe the mix of emotions you were feeling today when you saw "discovery" backing up. >> it tugged on my heart strings and my soul to see it. i was reflecting on what was it was like to ride that machine into space. >> reporter: he still feels the joy, he says, but also deep frustration that the shuttle program ended before a new
manned spacecraft was developed. it will be five years or more before a new american ship is ready. >> the united states of america, the premier space faring nation in the world has to buy rides on a russian rocket to take americans to the space station. and that definitely makes me mad. >> reporter: so, too, does the fact that his 15-year-old grandson sean has no nasa manned space program to dream about. your grandson is obviously interested in space. >> he's me. he's a science geek. >> reporter: exactly, but he can't be an astronaut. >> i am very disappointed and angry, frankly, that the youth of this nation-- including my grandson-- don't have that inspiration that has been provided by by nasa in the past with the manned program. >> reporter: a dream that came true for him and that he only wishes could come true for his grandson's generation. chip reid, cbs news, chantilly, virginia. >> pelley: there is a deal in
the works to settle a class action lawsuit over government trailers that housed victims of hurricane katrina. as we've reported, many of those fema trailers contained high levels of formaldehyde, which is linked to cancer. now, 21 companies that made the trailers have agreed to pay $15 million to settle the case. as many as 20,000 people would share in the money. their lawyers would get as much as half of that. months after the cruise ship disaster in italy what will happen to the "costa concordia"? disaster in italy what will happen to the "costa concordia"? that's next. phrase... but not since i learned i have... postmenopausal osteoporosis and a high risk for fracture. i want to keep acting but a broken bone could change that. so my doctor and i chose prolia® to reduce my risk of fractures. prolia® is proven to help make bones stronger.
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>> pelley: three months after the "costa concordia" ran aground, italian authorities today identified five bodies recovered from the cruise ship. they include gerry and barbara hile of white bear lake minnesota, the only americans among the 32 fatalities. allen pizzey reports the ship is still lodged on a reef off the island of giglio. >> reporter: the fate of the massive liner is still to be determined but there is a growing sentiment that the rock which ripped 160-foot gash in the hull should be turned into a monument for those who died. only two bodies remain unaccounted for. the environmental did sa *s her feared has been averted. all the fuel has been pumped off along with sewage and dangerous liquids such as cleaning materials for the 4,000 people who once traveled on the "costa concordia." the trappings of what was once luxury-- deck chairs, furniture, and even mattresses-- are being
retrieved from the seabed and brought ashore. it can't go fast enough as far as the people of giglio island are concerned according to the tourist board head. >> it doesn't belong there. it's huge and it's just not part of a scenery and it's not part of what giglio's famous for. >> reporter: boatman mauro pretti who runs a shuttle service for journalists and others going out to the wreck agrees. >> i don't like this situation because we are a tourist island. >> reporter: you'd like to see the boat gone. >> yes, yes, yes. as soon as possible, yes. >> reporter: refloating the "costa concordia" is expected to cost about $300 million, roughly half the value of the ship when it was launched. once it's afloat it will be towed back to its home port then it's up to the insurance company to decide whether or not it can put back into service or turned into scrap metal.
allen pizzey, cbs news, giglio, italy. >> pelley: we wondered, how do you refloat a ship that that's large. we found out first the hole in the hull would be patched and then industrial strength cranes sitting on barges secured to the sea floor would right the ship. the water would be pumped out, air would be pumped in, and then a fleet of tug boats would tow it away. as for the captain of the "costa concordia,", he is still under house arrest awaiting formal charges which could include manslaughter. a friday night feast where the guests of honor share a special bond when we come back.
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who serve in harm's way in iraq and afghanistan. (cheers and applause). >> reporter: it's the weekly friday night dinner for the wounded and their families. when you're adam keyes and john peck and have only one limb between you, thank god it's friday takes on a whole new meaning-- as in thank god i'm alive. >> we still hang out on the weekends. we're becoming really good friends. since we're both injured we both know what it feels like and we both will have each other's back and if anything ever happens i can come to him; he can come to me. >> reporter: how did you meet? >> in the hospital. >> reporter: how did you meet? >> in the hospital. all the wounded guys, the amputees are all in the same place doing the same thing: getting better. >> reporter: they see plenty of each other but not enough of life outside the hospital. that's what makes these friday night dinners an institution. they're the brainstorm of two vietnam veterans, jim mayer-- himself a double amputee-- and hall koster, a helicopter
crewman who came home with his own case of post-traumatic stress disorder. the dinners have bounced around washington from restaurant to restaurant and recently reached a milestone koster never planned on. how many meals? >> 30,000, david. >> reporter: 30,000. did you ever think? >> never. never. when we first started this we thought it would take four, five months and then everything would be over and we'd be done with it. >> reporter: by latest count, 436 american servicemen have suffered multiple amputations since the wars in iraq and afghanistan began. and it is a fact of amputee life that the more limbs you are missing, the more people are likely to stare. is it easier going out in public when everybody's a fellow wounded warrior? >> for me, especially in the beginning it definitely was. how about you? >> yeah. it's... i mean, when i go to, like, the mall or... we still get the unconsiderate unappreciative glares and, like, kind of like "what happened to
you" kind of thing. "you're different than me." >> and some people are clueless and they'll ask what happened. there's been a couple times i say "i was running with scissors." (laughs). >> reporter: on this friday night there's a bettertron look at adam keyes. he's celebrating his 28th birthday with his buddy john peck. (cheers and applause) here at the place where everybody understands your pain. david martin, cbs news, bethesda, maryland. >> pelley: and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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